Home » News » Public Safety
A fireworks 'nightmare' recalled one year later
Pelham fire Chief James Midgley, during an interview for a National Fire Protection Association safety video, says he saw a large mushroom cloud from the fireworks explosion on his way to the scene. courtesy NFPA
A safety video from the National Fire Protection Association shows the damage to the home on Dodge Road in Pelham. Thirteen people, including five children, were injured in the fireworks explosion there. courtesy NFPA
N.H. State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan, in an image from a National Fire Protection Association video, says leave the fireworks to the professionals. courtesy NFPA
It was evidence of what experts call a "rapid exothermic reaction," Midgley said: "a very powerful release of energy over a very short period of time." And he knew something terrible had happened.
"These aren't the typical devices from years ago, firecrackers and bottle rockets, things we grew up with," Midgley said. "These are large explosives, almost like grenades, and they pack a heckuva punch."
The most seriously injured was the Pappathans' grandson, 3-year-old Ben Bertini.
Gleason recounted the call from his daughter the night of the explosion. "She said, 'I've just had the worst night of my life. My nightmare has come true.'"
The Foys and Pappathans could not be reached for comment last week.
Rep. Charlene Takesian, R-Pelham, agreed to sponsor such a measure in the last session, but it was retained in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee for further study.
According to the state Fire Marshal's Office, there were 19 injuries from fireworks reported voluntarily to the state in 2012.
"It was just a tragic mistake of the people who actually were doing that," he said.
Atlas also has five retail locations in New Hampshire and one in Maine that sell some of the items Takesian's legislation would ban.
"There may be some items out there that need to be looked at, that maybe shouldn't be on the counter," he said, "but we don't believe that the Legislature is the one that should decide which items should or should not be."
Midgley said he's not out to ban all fireworks, just those that caused such havoc in his town a year ago. "Not all fireworks are created equal," he said. "Just because you can get it doesn't mean it's safe."
"We'll have games and a bouncy house and a dunk-tank," Gleason said. "That's adequate."
READER COMMENTS: 5
- State revokes license for New Hampshire childcare center amid abuse allegations - 1
- Downed wires shuts Concord street - 0
- Quick-acting Litchfield woman jumps into canoe and paddles to rescue of kayaker - 1
- Man's story about stab wound questioned by Laconia police - 0
- Two fires in Manchester - 0
- Indictments issued in fatal crashes in Dover, Barrington, Rochester - 1
- Father of missing Conway teen says he wants custody of his daughter - 0
- Mass. man safe after crashing plane into Lake Winnipesaukee - 0
- Lebanon police lieutenant resigns during internal probe into faking of fitness test results - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- UNH library halts book disposal after complaints - 0
- Tom Herzig's Trackside: Valenti Modified race was top shelf - 0
- Manchester school official points to 7 weapons cases not brought to conduct committee - 0
- Edie Loeb Tomasko dies, leaves UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center legacy - 0
- Witt named UNH women’s hockey coach - 0
- Ian Clark's High School Lacrosse: Bedford boys remains focused on third title - 0
- Fisher Cats steal home, beat New Britain - 0
- Executive Council vote: Centralized immunization registry becoming a reality - 0
- Littleton music store still playing the right notes - 0
New Hampshire Club Notes
Younger of two brothers convicted of murdering parents quietly released after 18 years in prison